Clemens: Step up to backup!
Three penalties amounted to 56 yards of a 79 yard, six play, 3:47 opening drive by the Eagles. The one yard touchdown by LeSean McCoy capped off a weird, if not ominous opening defensive stance, where the Jets’ defense looked lost and uninterested.
The exact opposite could be said for the highflying Jets’ offense, where Sanchez led the first squad down the field 83 yards in 7 plays. Sanchez capped off the march to the end zone with a beautifully thrown ball to Jericho resulting in a 21 yard TD, in which Jerricho Cotchery used his explosive athletic ability to quickly gain substantial space between himself and two defenders within a relatively short distance giving Sanchez an easy decision for the go ahead strike.
Coming back on the field with new found adrenaline and purpose from the Sanchez show, the Jets’ defense responded in kind, getting the Jets the ball back in fairly decent field position; where Kelly Clemens took over… with “over” being the key word in the sentence. Kelly looked like his career was over. Lost, timid, and comparatively speaking in relation to Sanchez… physically, Clemens looked slow and tired. What’s more? His body language said, “I don’t want to be here, I’m out of my league, I wish we could run the Wild Cat like the Eagles so I could get off the field in 2, instead of 3 plays. At one point he looked like he was trying to make a fake ball pump to freeze the defender 10 yards in front of him, not knowing he was 2 yards past the line of scrimmage, (making a pass a non-option), which of course was a moot point, since a 300 plus pound man easily caught him from behind for the embarrassing take down.
The following offensive display by Clemens beginning at the Jets’ 20 yard line resulted in Clemens over powering a simple out route on the first play from scrimmage. Failing to throw it on the body of the receiver, subsequently resulted in a bobbled attempt to catch the high velocity pass with the ball hanging to the outside of the receiver, where the outside defender had a gimmy, almost resulting in a pick six.
On the next set of downs, the Jets decided to run a fake reverse, which Clemens had to sell in order for it to have any chance of success. If he is out of football next year, two other options are officially off the table… Acting and sales. No one believed the fake. Heck, Clemens never even looked at the second runner. Now, one could argue the play was busted out long before the fake reverse came, but if you learn one thing in a play, know your part and follow through. Clemens was lack luster at best in his first three sets, while his backup counterpart looked like he was having the time of his life. And though Kolb is officially the backup for now, everyone knows that Vick will be second in command as soon as the commissioner gives his blessing. So how does Kolb handle basically the same situation as Clemens? (And let’s face it, Kolb was the Air Apparent to Donovan, with a “guarantee” of starting within the next two years, whether in Philly or elsewhere and now has found himself three deep on the bench.) He handles it like a…. A Pro. That’s right Clemens; Kolb is a pro. Take a page from his book and step up – to backup, because that’s what your team needs of you. We all know you’re beaten down right now and when you see Sanchez jerseys filling New Jersey, you can’t help but feel your dream was stolen. You deserved your shot. You put in your time, you did everything the organization asked of you and now you’re manning the clipboard instead of the first team offense. We get it. Now you should get it. Get it together and do your part to get us to the promise land, regardless of your role.